I ran across this today, and tracked down the link through wikipedia.
Octavia Butler, prominent science fiction author, dies at 58.
When I was in New York, I got a chance to hear her speak a couple of times. She had a beautiful voice, and a calm presence. I recommended her work to several young men looking for something besides Star Trek novels to read, because her books were vivid and clearly written, and was even thanked once for doing so. Her death makes me sad like few things can anymore.
The article covers the hows and etc. more clearly. It is a very nice obituary. People who's blogs have an actual readership will spread the world faster (like Mr. Barnes, and Mr. Gaiman). Other people will speak about her body of work more eloquently. But she did good things in the world, and it is a sort of honor to be able to help testify to that fact, even in a small way.